• Art

Van Gogh’s Masterpieces to Be on Display in Fukushima on 15th Anniversary of 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori, center, and others promote the Grand Van Gogh Exhibition planned in 2026 and 2027 at the Fukushima Prefectural Museum of Art in Fukushima City on Dec. 6.

FUKUSHIMA—The Grand Van Gogh Exhibition, tentatively titled, will be held at the Fukushima Prefectural Museum of Art in Fukushima City in 2026 and 2027, the Fukushima prefectural government announced on Dec. 6. “Terrace of a Cafe at Night” and “Bridge at Arles,” iconic masterpieces by Vincent van Gogh, will be on display in Japan for the first time in about two decades and seven decades, respectively.

As the exhibition coincides with the 15th anniversary of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and the subsequent nuclear incident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, the prefectural government hopes to leverage this opportunity to showcase the ongoing local reconstruction efforts from these catastrophic disasters.

The upcoming exhibitions will showcase artworks generously provided by the Kroller-Muller Museum in the Netherlands, renowned for its extensive collection of van Gogh’s masterpieces. The Dutch museum has decided to support the exhibition with the hope that these artworks will “vitalize and inspire Fukushima, serving as a driving force for the region to flourish further in the future.”

The museum’s collections will be presented in two phases, with 60 to 70 works featured in each term, and about 70% of them are works by van Gogh.

The initial phase of the exhibition, scheduled from in 2026 from Feb. 21 to May 10, will spotlight van Gogh’s works from his time in the Netherlands, Paris and Arles, France, featuring the iconic “Terrace of a Cafe at Night.” The subsequent 2027 exhibition, slated from June 19 to Sept. 26, will shift its focus to the final years of the artist’s life in Auvers, France, and other locations. Notably, “Bridge at Arles” will be showcased during this period, marking a rare occurrence of this masterpiece leaving the country.

The prefectural government is contemplating organizing events related to the exhibition for visitors from Japan and abroad.

“The works of van Gogh, who led a tumultuous and eventful life, convey both light and shadow, along with a profound desire to live for the future. I hope the audience will find inspiration for their lives by closely observing and experiencing his artworks,” Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori said at a press conference on Dec. 6.